Monday, April 30, 2007

Brooklyn judge on hidden video found guilty of receiving bribes

A good friend of mine (Nora Renzulli) wrote a letter to the Editor on this article and was published (See below)

Brooklyn judge on hidden video found guilty of receiving bribes
4/20/2007, 2:07 a.m. ET
By TOM HAYS The Associated Press for the Staten Island Advance

NEW YORK (AP) — The relationship between the judge and the lawyer was cozy enough to be a crime, according to prosecutors.
Jurors agreed Thursday, convicting former Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson of accepting expensive gifts in exchange for helping fix divorce cases — crimes captured on hidden-camera videos made in his chambers.

The jury deliberated two days before finding Garson guilty of receiving bribes and accepting rewards for official misconduct. He was acquitted on four lesser counts.

Garson, 74, showed no reaction as the verdict was read. He faces up to seven years in prison at sentencing, scheduled for June 5.

During the five-week trial, jurors viewed surveillance videos showing a divorce lawyer, Paul Siminovsky, giving Garson a $250 box of cigars and $1,000 in cash.

Prosecutors alleged the judge was being bribed so he would award the lawyer lucrative guardianships in child custody cases and give him advice on winning divorce cases.

The videos "were the most convincing evidence in my mind," Assistant District Attorney Michael Vecchione told reporters outside court.

Defense attorney Michael Washor insisted his client was framed by Siminovsky and promised an appeal. He said his client was disappointed by the verdict.

"It's very painful, both emotionally and physically," he said.

The Garson case arose from a broader investigation into allegations that civil judgeships were being bought and sold for up to $50,000.

Hard evidence of such brokering never materialized, but the scandal did bring down the longtime head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and resulted in convictions of courthouse staff and other lesser figures.

At trial, prosecutors said the judge violated his neutrality by letting the lawyer buy him thousands of dollars worth of meals and drinks.

The relationship was exposed in 2002, when a woman reported that a courthouse crony told her that her husband, a client of Siminovsky, had arranged to bribe Garson, who was overseeing the couple's divorce.

Investigators arrested the lawyer, who agreed that day to wear a wire while having lunch with the judge. Jurors heard an audiotape of Garson sharing strategy with Siminovsky over matzo ball soup, prosecutors said.

On another tape, Garson questioned why Siminovsky slipped the box of 25 Dominican cigars into the judge's desk. The lawyer responded, "Because you have my head together. You know, you gave me little pointers."

Garson was "no better than the health inspector who turns the other way for 20 bucks when the rats have infested the restaurant," Vecchione said in closing arguments.

Washor, in his closing, accused prosecutors of setting up his client by using a shady lawyer to tempt him with cash and gifts.

"This case started with a lie," he said, "and ended with the prosecution creating the illusion of criminality."

Nora Renzulli's Letter to the Editor of the Staten Island Advance -


Sunday, April 29, 2007

In your April 20 article "Brooklyn judge guilty of receiving bribes," the prosecutor declared that Judge Gerald Garson [who handled divorce cases] "was no better than the health inspector who turns the other way for 20 bucks when the rats have infested the restaurant."

The defense attorney, on the other hand, admitted his client "had probably violated ethical rules, but that his client had never agreed to give out courtroom benefits for the largess he received," as reported in The New York Times.

The defense's strategy and resort to a custom and practice of the trade appeared to say the only real rule broken was by the cooperating witness. That rule was never rat out a judge. A pitiful defense.

Now, finally, shall we take the focus from our revulsion and fascination with the rats and turn it to the price of justice, the welfare of the mother and children, and learn from the press where this legal rodents' nest has left them and what the courts have done, if anything, to heal and restore them?


Sunday, April 29, 2007

In Memory Of Richmond Smith

First I'd like to say..

Minister Ron Smith, I am at a loss for words, but I will do the best I can to make sure your son Richmond's death which according to what you have shared in your grief is due to Ritalin will not be in Vain, my prayers are with you and your family.

I pray for your sanity, strength, and peace, I couldn't imagine burying my child, especially if I felt it were due to a medication I felt that he was forced on by the system!

I have not seen my children since September 2002. (Scroll to older blogs for more info) so this fight for america to stop drugging our children may or may not be a personal one.

Nonetheless I feel the fight to STOP drugging of america's innocent children is a VERY IMPORTANT FIGHT, so I will stand up and shout, whether it's a personal fight or not, it is extremely important to me!

In the Email below, from Minister Ron Smith I learned his son's fight for his life was lost ..

For those who are unaware, my son Richmond Elihu Smith passed on April 27th at 8:33pm CST as a result of being mandated to take Ritalin as a 7 year old. He took this drug for 11 years and it took his life. He would have been 21 on May 9th.
Ron Smith

In the earlier email below from Minister Ron Smith, we had learned his son Richmond was very ill and was fighting for his life...

Ode To Richmond
By Ronald Smith

Bluish green in color he entered this world
Just before I cut his umbilical cord.
Happy with spirit and energy was he,
The school says, “there’s a problem"Must be ADHD.
Ritalin is the answer...IT SURELY MUST BE.
It took away his spirit, his energy, his glee
Made him very stoic, much like an elm tree.
The one thing that we did not expect,
The drug had a very ugly major negative side effect.
Twenty years old, Richmond is fighting for his life
With tumors in his liver he is fighting with all his might.
My child's condition, I can't bear the thought,
When the doctor prescribed it this effect was not taught.
If your child Has spirit,
don't kill them with drugs,
Instead of Ritalin give praises and hugs.

Minister Ronald E. Smith,
CEO Children Need Both Parents, Inc.

Below is another email Minister Ron Smith shared with the group.

Can Ritalin cause cancer?

Cancer Prevention Coalition American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Treating Behavioral Disorders in Children with Ritalin Ignores Evidence of Cancer Risks warns Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.Chicago, 10/04/01. —

Based on an industry-funded multi-university trial on 282 pre-teen children treated with Ritalin for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), just published in Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed the use of the drug.

However, the Academy ignores clear evidence of the drug's cancer risks of which parents, teachers and school nurses, besides most pediatricians and psychiatrists, still remain uninformed and unaware.

Some 40 years after the drug was first marketed by Ciba Geigy, carcinogenicity tests were conducted at the taxpayers expense by the National Toxicology Program, the results of which were published in 1995.

Adult mice were fed Ritalin over a two-year period at dosages close to those prescribed to children. The mice developed a statistically significant incidence of liver abnormalities and tumors, including highly aggressive rare cancers known as hepatoblastomas.

These findings are particularly disturbing as the tests were conducted on adult, rather than young mice which would be expected to be much more sensitive to carcinogenic effects.

The National Toxicology Program concluded that Ritalin is a "possible human carcinogen," and recommended the need for further research.

While still insisting that the drug is safe, the Food and Drug Administration admitted that these findings signal "carcinogenic potential," and required a statement to this effect in the drug's package insert.

However, these inserts are not seen by parents or nurses.

The Physicians' Desk Reference admits evidence on the carcinogenicity of Ritalin, now manufactured by Novartis, qualified by the statement that "the significance of these results is unknown," apparently not recognizing that this is more alarming than reassuring.

Apart from cancer risks, there is also suggestive evidence that Ritalin induces genetic damage in blood cells of Ritalin-treated children.Concerns on Ritalin's cancer risk are more acute in view of the millions of children treated annually with the drug and the escalating incidence of childhood cancer, by some 35% over the last few decades, quite apart from delayed risks of cancer in adult life.

These risks are compounded by the availability of alternative safe and effective procedures, notably behavior modification and biofeedback.There is no justification for prescribing Ritalin, even by highly qualified pediatricians and psychiatrists, unless parents have been explicitly informed of the drug's cancer risks.

Otherwise, prescribing Ritalin constitutes unarguable medical malpractice.Contact: Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., emeritus Professor Environmental Medicine, University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, and Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition, 2121 W. Taylor Street (MC 922), Chicago, IL 60612, phone 312-996-2297, fax 312-996-1374, email

Minister Ronald E. Smith, CEOChildren Need Both Parents, Inc.

The services for Richmond Smith are as follows:
Thursday May 3, 2007 viewing 4pm-8pm
Friday May 4, 2007 viewing 10am-10:30am
Funeral - 10:30am Carter Funeral Home 2100 E. 75th StChicago, Illinois
Thank you all for caring Minister Ronald E. Smith, CEOChildren Need Both Parents,

Friday, April 27, 2007

My thoughts on "The View" this morning with Alec Baldwin,

I'm not sure exactly why but I was unhappy with the way that interview went.

I have a gut feeling Alec was more interested in making this a gender issue than explaining what PA or PAS was.

I feel he left the door wide open for those in power to continue to sit on the fence with this, believing it's a mans problem after divorce.

Which it is NOT, it is a control problem and both sexes are open to being alienated.

I'm NOT surprised tho, when his publisher was looking for target parents to do interviews with I was turned away, and I've heard more than one rumor he only interview men for his book.

I'm not bitter so save it, I'm very concerned for our children, and don't want this issue lingering on forever while the powers that be say "Oh it's (Parent Alienation) a war of the genders - dont go near it"

Oh well, we all know how I feel about this, when and if "WE" defuse the SOS and focus on the real problem, (The system as it is) "THEY" will no longer be able to separate us and blow smoke screens up our *^%* pitting us against each other.
Here is the one good point that was made, lets hope this is what the public hears and demands change NOW!

Alec Baldwin Divorce Shows Weakness of Legal System -

Legal system fails families at time of great need.Divorce specialist attorney Ed Sherman has seen cases like the highly acrimonious Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger custody battle many times over in his long career and observes.

Click the link above to see full story.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

When will they get it?

Police lead the distraught teenage girl away in handcuffs after she threatened her mother with a shotgun at the Stapleton Houses.

Help them see what they are doing PLEASE!

I'm not very religious, but I believe there is a God..

I don't blame, or look down on you if you disagree..

I don't care if it's a couch or a pet rock that you pray to..

But people get on your hands and knees and pray to something..

That those who have the power to change the devestating damage that has been and contuines to be done to our children STOPS!

Pray for the pharmacutical Co's to find other ways to make money..

Pray that "The System" finds another way to make money..

Pray for the bodys minds and soul's of our children to be left alone!

Pray that our children are no longer "used" by the self serving psychopath adults that are only worried about where the almighty next miserable dollar is comming from!

Pray for what children had back in the 50's, happiness, health, DRUG FREE minds and both parents!

Stop the drugging of our children, havent they figured out they are creating MONSTERS?

These innocent children are killing, mamiming, and destroying lives in their path.

These children have no concept of right or wrong..

GET ACS aka CPS out of parents lives, and let us TEACH our children right from wrong, stop the systematic drugging of america theyre a bunch of zombies out there and no one gives a shit that children are murdering at alarming rates!

I'll bet once these zombies (Our Children) that the system created start turning on those that forced them into a comatosed childhood things will change!

It's comming- It's inevitable -Be afraid - Very afraid- I am!

Not even a month after the VA masacare -

(Story 1 today)
Daughter Turns Gun On Mom-
Original Story in the Staten Island Advance

When the tension between mom and daughter boils over, the 15-year-old girl grabs a shotgun and aims it at her mom. Yolanda Harris of Stapleton frantically calls the police at about 11 p.m. as the daughter, identified only as Dominique, runs off with a male accomplice. They ditch the gun before the police arrive. It is unclear whether the weapon was loaded. The gun is recovered, the girl is in custody. As she's led away she cries out to her mother" "You don't even like me, mom! You hate me!"-Story by Doug Auer

(Story 2 Today)
'He won't survive'

Dad loses hope for 11-year-old stabbed in head with stick - playmate charged

An 11-year-old boy lay near death after a classmate allegedly drove a wooden stick into his brain during a Brooklyn fight over pocket change, police sources said.

Doctors said it would take a miracle for Stevenson Celius to overcome his injuries, and his dad has begun to give up hope.

"He won't survive," said Antoine Celius, 34, from his son's bedside yesterday at Kings County Hospital.

"For me, there is no miracle."

Celius was in Haiti for a relative's funeral last Thursday when his son was attacked near their home in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. "It was just me and him for five years," the father said of the paralyzed fifth-grader. "He's my son and my friend, too."

The boy's mother still lives in the island country.

The 11-year-old suspect has been charged in Family Court with first-degree assault, a felony. The Brooklyn boy has been ordered held at a juvenile detention center pending a hearing scheduled for today.

"Most people thought they were friends," a police source said when asked about the nature of the boys' relationship. "But our suspect has a temper and just snapped."

Cops fingered the 11-year-old as a suspect after he was captured on an NYPD surveillance camera - there are about 250 citywide - swinging a 2-foot stick and chasing Stevenson on Fenimore St.

The actual stabbing about 7:40 p.m. on Thursday was not caught on tape.

The suspect, about 4-feet-7 and 75 pounds, initially denied being with Stevenson on the day of the stick attack. But he changed his tune after cops showed him the tape. "I hit him with a stick," the boy said, according to one of the police sources. "But we shook hands and made up."

The stick, described by sources as a sharpened piece of wooden molding, went about 2 inches into the left side of Stevenson's head, severing his brain stem.

He was found unconscious in the lobby of his building on Fenimore St.

Relatives said Stevenson had just bought potato chips at a store when the suspect asked him for his change.

Stevenson refused, setting off the chase.

The suspect's mother told police her son was remorseful, and she asked case detectives if she could visit the injured boy.

"I told them to tell her not to come," Stevenson's dad said. "It's not appropriate right now."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dean Tong Child Abuse Prevetion Requires2-Prong Approach

by Dean Tong, MSc.

April 25, 2007

April is known as National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month and the government dedicates this month to our most precious resource - our children. Most commonly, children are victimized by physical or sexual abuse or neglect. Less frequently, child caregivers or guardians can be accused of psychological or emotional abuse, failure to protect, failure to thrive, or Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, a bizarre form of child abuse whereby the accused is trying to gain attention by purposefully making a child sick.

Perhaps the most influential federal child abuse prevention law that has gained steam since its inception in 1974 is the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), aka The Mondale Act. This well-meaning, well-intentioned, but misguided legislation charged Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies nationally with the job of protecting our kids. It allowed neighbors with axes to grind or vindictive grudge bearers to call toll-free hot lines with anonymity and report anyone for child abuse. It created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington, D.C which oversees NCANDS (National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System). And it allowed for states to buttress their numbers of child protective investigators and programs by affording the same federal financial incentives, if they increased their numbers of substantiated investigations and numbers of dependent childen sent to foster care homes.

NCANDS compiled data for all of the states and published Child Maltreatment 2005 (child abuse statistics are always two years behind) recently. Over 60% of all child abuse investigation dispositions in 2005 were unsubstantiated. According to Dr. David Finkelhor, head of the crimes against children laboratory in Durham, New Hampshire, in a 2006 study he authored that was published in The Journal of Social Issues, he found that sexual child abuse substantiations between 1990 and 2004 decreased by 49%. And between 1992 and 2004 physical child abuse substantiations decreased by 43%.

Yet, the number of child abuse and neglect referral reports in 2005, nationally, totalled 2.1 million, with almost 1.2 million of the same deemed unsubstantiated and less than 500,000 deemed substantiated. Now, think about those numbers. Only one in four was a case of substantiated child abuse. Granted, that's at least 500,000 children (and probably much more) that require our immediate attention and protection, but what about that other number? You know, the politically incorrect number? The number that does not bolster the pockets of this well-funded child abuse establishment and keep its wheels spinning?

According to a compelling article titled "The Effects of False Accusations upon Children and Families" authored by psychologists Hickman and Reynolds in 1994 from Texas A&M University, non-abused children treated as truly abused victims can be just as traumatized or more so as legitimately abused children. The number of child abuse reports remain fairly constant and the actual incidence of child abuse is waning. In summation, unfounded child abuse reports are occurring at an unacceptably high rate. Our agencies charged to protect abused and non-abused children must do a better job at prosecuting the guilty while at the same time leaving potential wounded innocents alone. The aforementioned child abuse numbers do not lie.

© 2007 - Dean Tong - All Rights Reserved

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Dean Tong, forensic trial consultant, is author of the critically acclaimed book Elusive Innocence: Survival Guide for the Falsely Accused. Retained by parents and attorneys in contested divorces, child custody and abuse cases from 45 states and Canada, Tong has most recently appeared on CBS 48 Hours, CNN, Court-TV, MSNBC, and Dr. Phil.

Web site:


Dean Tong -- Child Abuse Prevention Requires 2-Prong Approach

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Are meds to blame for Cho's rampage?

If you scroll down, I had a feeling from day one that this was the case.

We need to speak out people, soon enuff it will be YOU AND YOURS caught in the cross fire and not just THEM AND THEIRS!

VIRGINIA TECH MASSACREAre meds to blame for Cho's rampage?Experts say psychiatric drugs linked to long list of school shooting sprees

Posted: April 23, 20071:00 a.m. Eastern
By Bob Unruh© 2007

Cho Seung-Hui's murderous rampage – during which he killed 32 students and faculty members at Virginia Tech – is prompting research into gun laws, resident aliens and graphically violent writings. Investigators also may want to check his medicine cabinet, because psychiatric drugs have been linked to hundreds of violent episodes, including most of the school shootings in the last two decades.

The New York Times has reported the killer was on a prescription medication, and authorities have said he was confined briefly several years ago for a mental episode. They also have confirmed that the "prescription drugs" found among his effects related to the treatment of psychological problems.

Dr. Peter Breggin, a prominent critic of psychiatric drugs and founder of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, said even if Cho wasn't taking psychiatric drugs the day of the shooting, "he might have been tipped over into violent madness weeks or months earlier by a drug like Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft."

While media reports have focused on guns and gun laws, Cho's violent writings and autistic behavior at Virginia Tech and the delay in notifying students and faculty of the beginnings of the shootings, there are those who say the focus should be on his medical history.

"In my book 'Reclaiming Our Children,' I analyzed the clinical and scientific reasons for believing that Eric Harris's violence was caused by prescribed Luvox and I've also testified to the same under oath in depositions in a case related to Columbine," Breggin wrote, referring to the 1999 tragedy when Harris and classmate Dylan Klebold shot and bombed students at the Colorado school until a dozen were dead.

"In my book "The Antidepressant Fact Book," I also warned that stopping antidepressants can be as dangerous as starting them, since they can cause very disturbing and painful withdrawal reactions," he added.

TeenScreenTruth website, dealing with the campaign to "screen" children for "problems" and then prescribe drugs, has documented an extended list of violent episodes believed connected to the use of psychiatric drugs.

They range as far back as 1985, when Atlanta postal worker Steven W. Brownlee, who had been getting psychotropic drugs, pulled a gun and shot and killed a supervisor and a clerk.

Among the specifically school-related attacks the site documents are:
In 1988, 31-year-old Laurie Dann, who had been taking Anafranil and Lithium, walked into a second-grade classroom in Winnetka, Ill., and began shooting. One child was killed and six wounded.

Later that same year, 19-year-old James Wilson went on a shooting rampage at the Greenwood, S.C., Elementary School and killed two 8-year-old girls and wounded seven others. He'd been on Xanax, Valium and five other drugs.

Kip Kinkel, a 15-year-old of Springfield, Ore., in 1998 murdered his parents and proceeded to his high school where he went on a rampage killing two students and wounding 22 others. Kinkel had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.

Patrick Purdy, 25, in 1989 opened fire on a school yard filled with children in Stockton, Calif. Five kids were killed and 30 wounded. He been treated with Thorazine and Amitriptyline.
Steve Lieth of Chelsea, Mich., in 1993 walked into a school meeting and shot and killed the school superintendent, wounding two others, while on Prozac.

10-year-old Tommy Becton in 1996 grabbed his 3-year-old niece as a shield and aimed a shotgun at a sheriff's deputy who accompanied a truant officer to his Florida home. He'd been put on Prozac.

Michael Carneal, 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in Heath High in West Paducah, Ky. Three died and one was paralyzed. Carneal reportedly was on Ritalin.

In 1998, 11-year-old Andrew Golden and 14-year-old Mitchell Johnson apparently faked a fire alarm at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., and shot at students as they left the building. Four students and a teacher were killed. The boys were believed to be on Ritalin.

In 1999, Shawn Cooper, 15, of Notus, Idaho, took a shotgun to school and injured one student. He had been taking Ritalin.

April 20, 1999, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 24 others. Harris had been taking Luvox.

Todd Smith walked into as high school in Taber, Alberta, Canada in 1999 with a shotgun and killed one and injured a second student. He has been given a drug after a five-minute phone consultation with a psychiatrist.

Steven Abrams drove his car into a preschool playground in 1999 in Costa Mesa., Calif., killing two. He was on probation with a requirement to take Lithium.

In 2000, T.J. Solomon, 15, opened fire at Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga., while on a mix of antidepressants. Six were wounded.

The same year Seth Trickey of Gibson, Okla., 13, was on a variety of prescriptions when he opened fire on his middle-school class, injuring five.

Elizabeth Bush, 14, was on Prozac. She shot and wounded another student at Bishop Neumann High in Williamsport, Pa.

Jason Hoffman, 18, in 2001 was on Effexor and Celexa, both antidepressants, when he wounded two teachers at California's Granite Hills High School.

In Wahluke, Wash., Cory Baadsgaard, 16, took a rifle to his high schooland held 23 classmates hostage in 2001. He has been taking Paxil and Effexor.

In Tokyo in 2001, Mamoru Takuma, 37, went into a second-grade classroom and started stabbing students. He killed eight. He had taken 10 times his normal dosage of an antidepressant.

Duane Morrison, 53, shot and killed a girl at Platte Canyon High School in Colorado in 2006. Antidepressants later were found in his vehicle.

In 2005, 16-year-old Native American Jeff Weise on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota was under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac when he shot and killed nine people and wounding five before committing suicide.

Another case involving a school-age youth – although not at a school – happened in 1986, when 14-year-old Rod Mathews of Canton, Mass., beat a classmate to death with a baseball bat while on Ritalin.

And just a few among the dozens of incidents cited, but not apparently related to schools:
William Cruse in 1987 was charged with killing six people in Palm Bay, Fla., after taking psychiatric drugs for "several years."

The same year, Bartley James Dobben killed his two young sons by throwing them into a 1,300-degree foundry ladle. He been on a "regimen" of psychiatric drugs.

Joseph T. WesBecker, 47, just a month after he began taking Prozac, shot 20 workers at Standard Gravure Corp. in Louisville, Ky., killing nine. Eli Lilly, which makes Prozac, later settled a lawsuit brought by survivors.

In 1991, 61-year-old Barbara Mortenson, on Prozac for two weeks, "cannibalized her 87-year-old mother …"

In 1992, Lynnwood Drake III, shot and killed six in San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Prozac and Valium were found in his system.

Sixteen-year-old Victor Brancaccio attacked and killed an 81-year-old woman, covered her corpse with red spray-paint. He was two months into a Zoloft regimen.

While on four medications including Prozac, Dr. Debora Green in 1995 set her Prairie Village, Mo., home on fire, killing her children, ages 6 and 13.

Kurt Danysh, 18, shot and killed his father in 1996, 17 days after his first dose of Prozac. "I didn't realize I did it until after it was done. … This might sound weird, but it felt like I had no control of what I was doing, like I was left there just holding a gun."

In 1998, GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Paxil, was ordered to pay $6.4 million to surviving family members after Donald Schnell, 60, just 48 hours after taking Paxil, flew into a rage and killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter.

The website also cites psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce, in a speech advocating for the treatment of children and youth.

"Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, towards our elected officials, towards his
parents, towards a belief in a supernatural being, and towards the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It's up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future," Pierce told a 1973 childhood seminar.

Breggin's conclusion that whatever mental manifestations were causing Cho's dangerous behavior, resulting in a professor asking for him to be removed from her class and two complaints of stalking, there was a solution.

"The answer to vengeful, violent people is not more mental health screening or more potent mental health interventions. Reliance on the whole range of this system from counseling to involuntary treatment failed. There is not a shred of scientific evidence that locking people up against their will or otherwise 'treating' them reduces violence. As we'll see, quite the opposite is true," he wrote. "So what was needed? Police intervention."

He wrote that "it's not politically correct to bring criminal charges against someone who is 'mentally ill' and it's not politically correct to prosecute him or to remove him from the campus. Yet that's what was needed to protect the students. Two known episodes of stalking, setting a fire, and his threatening behavior in class should have been more than enough for the university administration to bring charges against him and to send him off campus."

He continued with a warning, "And what about drugs for the treatment of violence? The FDA has not approved any medications for the control of violence because there are no such medications. Yes, it is possible to temporarily immobilize mind and body alike with a shot of an 'antipsychotic' drug like Haldol; but that only works as long as the person is virtually paralyzed and confined – and forced drugging invariably breeds more resentment.

"Instead of offering the promise of reducing violence, all psychiatric drugs carry the potential risk of driving the individual into violent madness. For example, both the newer antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Celexa, and the antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal and Zyprexa, cause a disorder caused akathisia – a terrible inner sensation of agitation accompanied by a compulsion to move about. Akathisia is known to drive people to suicide and to aggression."

He said he's been writing for more than 15 years about the capacity for psychiatric drugs to cause mayhem, murder and suicide, but it wasn't until 2005 when the FDA issued a warning that such drugs produce "anxiety, agitation, panic attacks …"

He said in the Columbine case, Harris "looks the most like Cho. Both were very emotionally disturbed in an extremely violent fashion for a prolonged period of time."

Carolyn Rude, chairwoman of Virginia Tech's English department, said Cho's writings were so disturbing he was referred to the school's counselors.

"Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be," she said. "But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."

In a statement posted on the TeenScreen opposition site, Sidney Taurel of Eli Lilly noted that it would be "unreasonable" to expect "that there is such a thing as a risk-free drug."

Another website concerning the psychiatric drugs, called RitalinDeath, also documents some of these cases, as well as additional ones.

Dr. John Breeding concluded in a report shortly after Columbine that there were about five million school children now being given psychiatric drugs, and the number had been doubling every 10 years since the 1970s.

"This has got to be a cause for major alarm in all adults," he said. "The bottom line is that we are giving stronger and stronger psychiatric drugs to more and more children. Many of our children are taking more than one of these drugs at a time, and many of these drugs were never even tested and approved for children."

My thoughts on Baldwin v Basinger

I was going to keep my opinions on the Alec Baldwin / Kim basinger issue to myself until I read this ..

Basinger Hires Security for Daughter
Published: April 24, 2007

Basinger Hires Security for Daughter - New York Times

Do these pictures look like Alec Baldwin thinks his daughter is a pig?

If you have followed this blog you will know I have been completely alienated from my children by an abusive estranged husband, two of my children have aged out of the system while I desperately fight for our rights.

It also appears my estranged husband may have had help from within the system to LEGALLY keep me from my children for the last SIX YEARS, with false accusations as well as a negligent/Malicious “Indicated” ACS case.

I have missed numerous monumental occasions in their lives that can NEVER be replaced.
I feel target parents have every right to be outraged, furious, and disgusted, with the situation we are forced to deal with, but we MUST control those feelings.

However, although I understand Alec Baldwin’s frustration, I do NOT condone what he did. He needs to understand what Parent Alienation really results in
(A brainwashed child, similar to Stockholm syndrome, they align themselves with the alienator)

Although his anger and frustration are justified, since it appears almost impossible to get the system to intervene before it’s too late.
(Before the children are aligned with the aggressive parent)

No parent should treat their child the way Alec Baldwin did, NO MATTER HOW FRUSTRATED they are! We must dig deep within our selves and find the strength to rise above the abusive parents tactics.

On the other hand, I feel Kim Basinger is the one abusing their daughter and making a mockery of the system. She is the one keeping her daughter from the other parent, and there is no other word for that BUT ABUSIVE!

Hasn't Kim figured out that all these shenanigans will come back to bite her on the *&% one day?

Nevertheless, what about their daughter Ireland, this child is caught in a bitter divorce where it appears that her mother (Kim Basinger) is using what has become known to all falsely accused as the Silver Bullet in Divorce.

This child does not understand the mental torture of being a target parent, the feeling is overwhelming, and I know I’ve lived it for SIX YEARS.

It’s time Kim Basinger stops the BS selfishness and begins to think about what she is doing to her daughter’s mental health!

It is well past due for the public to stand up and demand our future generations be protected from what I see as a system out of control!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Slapping a bandage on a bullet wound

I had to (Shrug)

I came accross this article about the massacre today, and my fingers started typing a relpy and I couldnt stop them, so here it is ..

( I doubt she'll post it)

I stand corrected - she posted it.

Original Google alert -

Slapping a Bandage on a Bullet Wound
By Sandra Ruttan(Sandra Ruttan) Dysfunctional families, emotional abuse at school and feelings of alienation compounded with a lack of healthy coping skills is a deadly combination, and the way society is going we're only going to see more of it, not less. ...Sandra Ruttan: On Life And Other... -

My reply -

Has anyone stopped to think, perhaps the Government's intrusion on family life has proven to children that their parent or parents can't do anything if they act out and therefore these children are out of control?

Could it be the Governments proverbial hand tying of parents today, or the medicating of our children with psychotropic drugs sometimes as many as 20 different drugs a day for children in "the system" or children as young as four years old? Isn't it the psychotropic drugs that have recently been proven to be a possible cause for violent behavior or suicide?

Is it possible that the children who are killing at such a young age and at an alarming rate are children growing up with only one parent, because the other parent has been "labeled" the NCP and is lucky to have visitation rights if the other parent hasn't used false accusations to keep them away?

Is it at all possible that the laws in place are causing loving children to become killing machines?

Is it possible that these killing machines could be loose in a school or park near you and yours!

Don't you think it's time America wakes up and figures out that soon enough it WILL BE you and yours and not just them and theirs, that are caught in the cross fire, and demand change NOW!

I am not saying that SOME children may need medications, and some parents do abuse their children.

I believe the laws in effect were put there with good intentions, but isn't it time for a new crisp clean look at what the outcome has already done to society.

Louise Uccio

I've added Sandra's reply below-

Sandra Ruttan said...
Louise, very interesting points. I certainly know that the laws can impede those in authority - not just parents - from effectively dealing with problematic kids. You can't spank, if you restrain you'd better not have one staff member who doesn't support you... and so one day the kid goes off to the point where they pose a threat and get shot by a police officer. We have no intervention, no intervention and then the consequences are severe.The main problem is that even parents need guidance. Nobody applies to become a parent. You don't have to pass a course first. Sadly. Governments sometimes meddle with the alleged intent of protection (ie child abuse) but it's easy to circumvent. In one removal case I worked the parent moved across city lines, which meant we no longer had jurisdiction to pursue her. It's extremely frustrating.And I definitely agree about the medicating issue. Too many teachers support it first, because it helps them function, without considering the long term effects on the kids. If we invested more in education we could see the savings on the other side in the cost of lives, law enforcement, etc.As a Canadian, though, I can sympathize with what you say about your society, but my commentary is generally focused at my own, as it's the one I've got experience with. We're similar, but not completely the same, and I'm definitely not as familiar with US intervention laws.Randy, good for your sister. It's incredibly challenging, but that's the kind of relational, hands-on parenting that's needed. Medication is often not the answer. People think meds 'solve' ADD and ADHD - all they do is subvert symptoms for a period of time. You can't be medicated 24 hours a day. The result is that people use the meds as a solution often, and fail to teach those kids coping strategies.In the end, those children are often worse off.Olen, the media is a definite issue. Your question, why has fantasy entered into reality more and more, is an interesting one and could be the catalyst for a thesis. Is it because video games, computer games and tv are used as rewards and babysitters? Have - especially for boys - those things replaced the role of books in the developmental phases? Look at us now, 'virtually' communicating. More and more we deal with computer screens instead of flesh and blood people. Is this contributing to desensitization , to larger groups growing up without empathy and connection to other humans? Is it similar to issues faced when wild animals are abandoned or orphaned in the early stages of life? We've watched it here, where efforts are made to reintegrate a whale with a pod, for example, and sometimes the calf isn't interested, and sometimes the calf is rejected. In those cases the calf ends up dead, causing problems in their natural environment or in a zoo.I wonder if, in some fashion, we're seeing the results of similar impact on people. We all know some people are more sensitive than others. If children have two homes with different parents, different rules and bounce between those environments and daycare are they growing up with the proper grounding they need to feel secure? I think this is where the problems start, for some. The girl I mentioned who bullied me all through elementary school was one of thirty kids in a class, and one of the only ones back then with parents who were divorced. It was 'odd' then. Looking back I think that a lot of her behaviour was attention-seeking, but I can see that in her case she was failed. Later, she got that attention from boys, and in the wrong way.I do think that violence is a part of youth. It used to be that children grew up on farms and had experience with life and death and reality from an early age. And societies concocted fairy tales to teach the young. These stories were often scary and extreme. Today, we water them down. We soft-pedal even things like the risk of stranger abduction. Kids worry more about being rejected by adults if they're honest so they suppress things and keep them secret. It's better to have a secure dynamic where a kid can feel they can be honest and talk things through without being lectured or treated like a freak.Anyway... interesting thoughts from all of you. No simple solutions, though, and now the world will watch as a the people affected by yesterday's events try to cope. And a new group of kids will see that this is a way to get attention.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Until my children are returned..

REFRESH - Go to Home-Page

It seems from my site meter readings that this is one of the more popular blog entries from my blog being shared via email and saved in favorites, around Staten Island, Brooklyn and New York so this blog entry was UPDATED.

Apparently when I originally wrote this... I didn't consider that the legal kidnapping of my children disguised as a custody/divorce case was, could be, or is larger than what it looks like on paper...

Alternatively, what it looks like when you put all the pieces together... a R.I.C.O case!!

Stupid me thought there would be justice in the courts.

Never did I consider that court employees including attorneys, judges, Secretaries, forensic evaluators and hearing officers would or could engage in R.I.C.O. Duh.. I'm learning my lesson being naieve dosen't work when your dealing with evil forces.

The more I research my case the more I'm convinced it is nothing short of a R.I.C.O. case - here you decide for yourself.

(R.I.C.O. Act ... then if the shoe fits.. what's that they say?) Wear it?

I didn't realize that my own attorneys would sell me out but now that I believe this is a RICO case ... of course they would or they wouldn't ever prevail in their legal professions)

I had no idea that a domestic violence judge Judge Silber, would let my attorney off the hook for an apparent B.S. break down in communication after my attorney demanded that we ask for visitation for me with my children to INCLUDE at all times my abusive estranged husband among many other things and I refused to sign the half assed bullshit motion to modify custody. But hind site being 20/20 now that I believe this is a R.I.C.O. Case I have to believe ... of course she would.. there were so many players before her This apparent RICO case involved to many people to allow my attorney to totally expose it.

Keep in mind the apparent fraud and preclusion of critical evidence (a false ACS case) used by Ms. Catherine Bridge Esq., Ms. Amerose., the late Mr. Mario Accunzo esq., and Hearing Officer Gallet in my estranged husbands custody being over turned.

Keep in mind this is the same estranged husband that has alienated kidnapped the children from me for the last SIX YEARS and refused me ANY CONTACT..

DUH if I thought about it they were kidnapped why would I have contact!

Keep in mind that I have a final and forever Order of Protection, which since his apparent political connections I might as well wipe my (&%$ with it, the police REFUSE TO INVESTIGATE his stalking me. Another DUH! Keep in mind R.I.C.O. then this all makes sense.

UPDATE finished, back to the original blog entry...

I will blog and talk about and demand justice for my family..

I'm sure they would like to put a gag on me..

But while I still have a voice I will do whatever it takes to educate the public on what is happening to families behind closed doors.

FYI mr wonderful is what I call my estranged ex.

I have a My Space account that my estranged husband and his side kick stalk me on, I'd like to share some of the intimidation tactics they are trying to use to silence me.

In responce to this blog,

Current mood: determined
Latest Comments

Time Posted
1 NEW!»
AggieWhat's up with this? 09 Apr 07 1:42P..

Tomorrow it will be THREE WEEKS since Mr. wonderful (ex) has made it concrete clear for the record that he is stalking me.

Today he felt the need to respond with more psycho babble to my blog dated April 6th, as if anyone wants to hear what he has to say, but nonetheless he feels the need continue his stalking and harassing, despite my asking NUMEROUS times for him to stop, also despite my warning him that I have a valid O.P.

I'm begining to wonder if the political influence/connection it appeared he had, has figured out that my lawyer and I are on to what has been going on in Staten Island, with my case. (Proven with records or the lack thereof) and left him flat on his face to deal with the 200+ pages of a divorce motion.

A divorce motion in which my lawyer makes it clear that we feel all the civil rights violations (Proven in Exhibits A-Z then AA-ZZ) that I have had to endure over the last SIX YEARS may be connected to Supreme Ct Judge Barbara Panepinto, who happens to be married to Joseph Panepinto Director of the CYO, who BTW is my ex's boss and happens to share the same sir name as Aggie Panepinto (Ex's GF).

I am also wondering why it is, that no matter how many times I blog (here or on my Google bloger acount) about the suspicious coincidence with the Panepinto name, Mr wonderful pretends he never read that part of the blog, yet he will try desperately to distract from the meat and potatoes of this case which is the numberous civil rights violations, I feel were set into place because of this possible political connection.

Now another thing that makes ya go hmmmmmmm...

It's been SIXTY SIX days since he's been served with a Divorce action yet he has not answered.
(1) Could it be that his incompetent lawyer refused to stay on with him, given what has been exposed in the divorce papers?

(2) Could it be that he can't find a lawyer stupid enough to take on a case with such insane proven civil rights violations?

(3) Could my lawsuit against the City and ACS have spread thru the system?

(4) Could it be that someone somewhere is concerned that the county I have brough this case to is under Federal investigation?

(5) Could he think I'm stupid enuff to take his bait and arguee with him?

Or (D) all of the above?

They posted this,

i like to know wherre you come up with this carbage. how your mind works. they took your kids away face it thats all you have to do face it. instead you use every excuse in the book like corruption in the courts there is none wake up there is no realtionship with barbara panepinto and me . why dont you call her and ask. you know what let me call her and let her know that her name is all over the computer what do you call that slander.
Posted by
Aggie on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 5:22 AM

Which inspired me to post this,

Libel and slander Category:
News and Politics

It appears that my Stalker estranged husband and his side kick aggie panepinto are misinformed once again...



(if that's the proper term for his being paid as a referee)


FACT- MR JOSEPH PANEPINTO- is or was the DIRECTOR of THE SAME CYO where mr wonderful is or was EMPLOYED


FACT- This case was in the Staten Island family court

FACT- ACS (agency for child protective services) and NYC ARE the defendants in a CLAIM BY MS. LOUISE UCCIO AND HER ATTORNEY- FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION and NEGLIGENT MISREPSENTATION derived from a FALSE "SUBSTANTIATED" ACS CASE - wherein LOUISE UCCIO was FALSELY ACCUSED of being a drug addict who attempted suicide, ON JULY 12, 2006 CASE WAS OVERTURNED!

FACT- mr wonderful called ACS NUMEROUS TIMES in 2001- trying to have MS. UCCIO's children taken from her-all but the last one WERE UNFOUNDED and ACS workers PUT IN WRITTING mr wonderfuls claims were NOT SUPPORTED BY ANY EVIDENCE!






FACT- mr wonderful is unable to show respect for the childrens mother MS. UCCIO.

FACT- mr wonderful's inability to respect or even tollerate MS. UCCIO along with mr wonderful's NEED FOR REVENGE has led to an ESTRANGED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MOTHER AND CHILDREN!

FACT- EVERY WORD OF THIS IS IN A 200+ PAGE DIVORCE ACTION served upon mr wonderful on february 2, 2007 which mr wonderful has not answered -45 days and counting.

MY OPINION- mr wonderful isn't smart enough to have pulled this off without someone's guideance and or help.

MY OPINION- mr wonderful underestimated me again, and never thought I would put 2 (aggie-panepinto) and 2 (Jospeh-panepinto) and 2 (Barbara panepinto) and 2 (CYO) and 2 (civil rights violations against my children and I ) together, and see these as possible red flags


FACT- I have always stated facts and let anyone reading it or hearing it decide for themself.


MY OPINION- There isn't a lawyer on this planet that would take mr wonderful's case and attempt to defend him, especially in westchester where the FBI are still investigating corruption in the courts.

MY OPINION- All these FACTS have put mr wonderful into a corner and he feels trapped, and this "IN MY OPINION" is why he appears to be out of control, and why I fear for my life!

Slander and libel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Slander and libel
In law, defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against criticism.

common law origins of defamation lie in the torts of slander (harmful statement in a transitory form, especially speech) and libel (harmful statement in a fixed medium, especially writing but also a picture, sign, or electronic broadcast), each of which gives a common law right of action.

"Defamation" is the general term used internationally, and is used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between "slander" and "libel". Libel and slander both require publication. The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies solely in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. If the offending material is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures and the like, then this is slander. If it is published in more durable form, for example in written words, film, compact disc and the like, then it is considered libel.

"Libel" comes from Latin : libellus ("little book")
Even if a statement is derogatory, there are circumstances in which such statements are permissible in law.
Libel is studied in
forensics. In many, though not all, legal systems, statements presented as fact must be false to be defamatory. Proving a defamatory statement to be true is often the best defense against a prosecution for libel.

Statements of opinion that cannot be proven true or false will likely need to apply some other kind of defense. The use of the defense of justification has dangers, however. If the defendant libels the plaintiff and then runs the defense of truth and fails, he may be said to have aggravated the harm.

In some systems, however, notably the Philippines and the Canadian province of Quebec, truth alone is not a defense.
[3] It is also necessary in these cases to show that there is a well-founded public interest in the specific information being widely known, and this may be the case even for public figures.

Public interest is generally not "that which the public is interested in," but rather that which is in the interest of the public. [4]

See also:
Substantial truth

Privilege and malice

Privilege provides a complete bar and answer to a defamation suit, though conditions may have to be met before this protection is granted.

There are two types of privilege in the common law tradition:
Absolute privilege" has the effect that a statement cannot be sued on as defamatory, even if it was made maliciously; a typical example is evidence given in court (although this may give rise to different claims, such as an action for malicious prosecution or perjury) or statements made in a session of the legislature (known as 'Parliamentary privilege' in Commonwealth countries).

"Qualified privilege" may be available to the journalist as a defense in circumstances where it is considered important that the facts be known in the public interest; an example would be public meetings, local government documents, and information relating to public bodies such as the police and fire departments. Qualified privilege has the same effect as absolute privilege, but does not protect statements that can be proven to have been made maliciously.
Similar but different delicts and torts

Some jurisdictions have a separate tort or delict of "verbal injury," "intentional infliction of emotional distress," or "convicium," involving the making of a statement, even if truthful, intended to harm the claimant out of malice; some have a separate tort or delict of "invasion of privacy" in which the making of a true statement may give rise to liability: but neither of these comes under the general heading of "defamation". Some jurisdictions also have the tort of "
false light", in which a statement may be technically true, but so misleading as to be defamatory. There is also, in almost all jurisdictions, a tort or delict of "misrepresentation", involving the making of a statement which is untrue even though not defamatory; thus if a surveyor states that a house is free from the risk of flooding, he or she has not defamed anyone, but may still be liable to someone who purchases the house in reliance on this statement.

[edit] Criminal libel
Many nations have criminal penalties for defamation in some situations, and different conditions for determining whether an offense has occurred. For example, in
Zimbabwe, "insulting the President" is, by statute, (Public Order and Security Act 2001) a criminal offense. The European Court of Human Rights has in some instances placed restrictions on libel laws by reason of the freedom of expression provisions of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.[5] An important example is Lingens v. Austria (1986) 8 E.H.R.R. 407. Lingens was fined for publishing in a Vienna magazine comments about the behavior of the Austrian Chancellor, such as 'basest opportunism', 'immoral' and 'undignified'. Under the Austrian criminal code the only defense was proof of the truth of these statements. Lingens could not prove the truth of these value judgments. The European Court of Human Rights stated that a careful distinction needed to be made between facts and value judgments/opinions. The existence of facts can be demonstrated, whereas the truth of value judgments is not susceptible of proof. The facts on which Lingens founded his value judgments were not disputed; nor was his good faith. Since it was impossible to prove the truth of value judgments, the requirement of the relevant provisions of the Austrian criminal code was impossible of fulfilment and infringed article 10 of the Convention.

Origins of defamation law
In most early systems of law, verbal defamations were treated as a criminal or quasi-criminal offense, its essence lying not in pecuniary loss, which may be compensated by damages, but in the personal insult which must be atoned for: a vindictive penalty coming in the place of personal revenge. By the law of the
Twelve Tables, the composition of scurrilous songs and gross noisy public affronts were punished by death. Minor offenses of the same class seem to have found their place under the general conception of injuria, which included ultimately every form of direct personal aggression which involved abuse or insult.

In the later
Roman jurisprudence, from which many of modern laws descend, verbal defamations are dealt with in the edict under two heads. The first comprehended defamatory and injurious statements made in a public manner (convicium contra bonos mores). In this case the essence of the offense lay in the unwarrantable public proclamation. In such a case the truth of the statements was no justification for the unnecessarily public and insulting manner in which they had been made. The second head included defamatory statements made in private, and in this case the offense lay in the imputation itself, not in the manner of its publication. The truth was therefore a sufficient defense, for no man had a right to demand legal protection for a false reputation. Even belief in the truth was enough, because it took away the intention which was essential to the notion of injuria.

The law thus aimed at giving sufficient scope for the discussion of a man's character, while it protected him from needless insult and pain. The remedy for verbal defamation was long confined to a civil action for a monetary penalty, which was estimated according to the significance of the case, and which, although vindictive in its character, doubtless included practically the element of compensation. But a new remedy was introduced with the extension of the criminal law, under which many kinds of defamation were punished with great severity. At the same time increased importance attached to the publication of defamatory books and writings, the libri or libelli famosi, from which we derive our modern use of the word libel; and under the later emperors the latter term came to be specially applied to anonymous accusations or
pasquils, the dissemination of which was regarded as particularly dangerous, and visited with very severe punishment, whether the matter contained in them were true or false.

[edit] English law

[edit] Development of English defamation law
Modern libel and slander laws as implemented in many but not all
Commonwealth nations, in the United States, and in the Republic of Ireland, are originally descended from English defamation law.
The earlier history of the English law of defamation is somewhat obscure. Civil actions for damages seem to have been tolerably frequent so far back as the reign of
Edward I (1272–1307). There was no distinction drawn between words written and spoken. When no pecuniary penalty was involved such cases fell within the old jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts, which were only finally abolished in the eighteenth century. It seems, to say the least, uncertain whether any generally applicable criminal process was in use.

The crime of
scandalum magnatum, spreading false reports about the magnates of the realm, was established by statutes, but the first fully reported case in which libel is affirmed generally to be punishable at common law is one tried in the Star Chamber in the reign of James I. In that case no English authorities are cited except a previous case of the same nature before the same tribunal; the law and terminology appear to be taken directly from Roman sources, with the insertion that libels tended to a breach of the peace; and it seems probable that not very scrupulous tribunal had simply found it convenient to adopt the very stringent Roman provisions regarding the libelli famosi without paying any regard to the Roman limitations. From that time we find both the criminal and civil remedies in full operation.

[edit] English admiralty law
admiralty law, a libel was the equivalent of a civil lawsuit. The plaintiff was referred to as the "libellant". The verb "to libel" means "to sue [in admiralty]". Similar terminology was used in the United States legal system. The term has been rendered obsolete by the merger of the admiralty courts with tribunals of general jurisdiction and the adoption of simplified rules of civil procedure that specify "one form of action" for all claims.

[edit] Modern law
English law allows actions for libel to be brought in the High Court for any published statements which are alleged to defame a named or identifiable individual or individuals in a manner which causes them loss in their trade or profession, or causes a reasonable person to think worse of him, her or them.
A statement can include an implication. A large photograph of Tony Blair above a headline saying "Corrupt Politicians" might be held to be an allegation that
Tony Blair was personally corrupt.

The allowable defenses against libel are:
Justification: the defendant proves that the statement was true. If the defense fails, a court may treat any material produced by the defense to substantiate it, and any ensuing media coverage, as factors aggravating the libel and increasing the damages.

Fair Comment: the defendant shows that the statement was a view that a reasonable person could have held, even if they were motivated by dislike or hatred of the plaintiff.

Privilege: the defendant's comments were made in Parliament or under oath in court of law or were an accurate and neutral report of such comments. There is also a defense of 'qualified privilege' under which people, who are not acting out of malice, may claim privilege for fair reporting of allegations which if true were in the public interest to be published. The leading modern English case on qualified privilege in the context of newspaper articles which are claimed to defame a public figure is now
Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd and Others, 1999 UKHL 45,[6] and the privilege has been widened by Jameel v. Wall Street Journal Europe 2006 UKHL 44, which has been described as giving British newspapers protections similar to the US First Amendment.[7]

An offer of amends - typically a combination of correction, apology and/or financial compensation - is a barrier to litigation in the courts.
The 2006 case of
Keith-Smith v Williams confirmed that discussions on the Internet were public enough for libel to take place.[8]

[edit] Burden of proof on the defendant
In most legal systems the courts give the benefit of the doubt to the defendant. In criminal law, he or she is presumed innocent until the prosecution can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; whereas in civil law, he or she is presumed innocent until the plaintiff can show liability on a balance of probabilities. However, the common law of libel contains a kind of reverse-onus feature: a defamatory statement is presumed to be false unless the defendant can prove its truth. In New York Times v Sullivan (376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710 (1964)), the United States Supreme Court changed this traditional feature of the common law with respect to public figures, and ruled that in cases where a public figure was libelled the burden of proof would be on the libeled person (the plaintiff). Furthermore, to collect compensatory damages, a public official or public figure must prove actual malice (knowing falsity or reckless disregard for the truth).

A private individual must only prove negligence (not using due care) to collect compensatory damages. In order to collect punitive damages, all individuals must prove actual malice. The definition of "public figure" has varied over the years.

The English laws on libel have traditionally favored the plaintiffs. A recent decision by the
European Court of Human Rights (in the so-called "McLibel case") held that, on the (exceptional) facts of that case, the burden on the defendants in the English courts was too high. However, it is unlikely that the case will provoke any considerable change in substantive English law, despite strong academic criticism of the current position.[9]

In 1990,
McDonald's Restaurants sued Morris & Steel (called the McLibel case) for libel. The original case lasted seven years, making it the longest-running court action in English history. Beginning in 1986, London Greenpeace, a small environmental campaigning group, distributed a pamphlet entitled What's wrong with McDonald's: Everything they don't want you to know. The pamphlet claimed that the McDonald's corporation sells unhealthy food, exploits its work force, practices unethical marketing of its products towards children, is cruel to animals, needlessly uses up resources and creates pollution with its packaging and is responsible for destroying the South American rain forests. Although McDonald's won two hearings, the widespread public opinion against them turned the case into a matter of embarrassment for the company. McDonald's announced that it has no plans to collect the £40,000 it was awarded by the courts, and offered to pay the defendants to drop the case.

Defamation law in the United States is much less plaintiff-friendly than its counterparts in European and the
Commonwealth countries.

This is because the
First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives strong protection to freedom of expression, which arose from the tradition of dissent in the American Revolution.

For most of the history of the United States, constitutional protections of freedom of speech had no impact on the traditional common law of defamation inherited from the English legal system.

This changed with the landmark 1964 case of
New York Times v. Sullivan, in which the
Supreme Court of the United States announced constitutional restrictions to state defamation law. The court held that where a public official was defamed, the plaintiff had to prove not just that an untruthful statement was made, but also that it was made with "actual malice" - that is, with knowledge of falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth. The "actual malice" standard was subsequently extended to public figures in general, and even to private figure plaintiffs seeking punitive or presumptive damages.

One very important distinction today is that European and Commonwealth jurisdictions adhere to a theory that every publication of a defamation gives rise to a separate claim, so that a defamation on the Internet could be sued on in any country in which it was read, while American law only allows one claim for the primary publication.

In the United States, a comprehensive discussion of what is and is not libel or slander is difficult, because the definition differs between different states, and under federal law. Some states codify what constitutes slander and libel together into the same set of laws. Some states have criminal libel laws on the books, though these are old laws which are very infrequently prosecuted.

Most defendants in defamation lawsuits are newspapers or publishers, which are involved in about twice as many lawsuits as are television stations. Most plaintiffs are corporations, businesspeople, entertainers and other public figures, and people involved in criminal cases, usually defendants or convicts but sometimes victims as well. Almost all states do not allow defamation lawsuits to be filed if the allegedly defamed person is deceased. No state allows the plaintiff to be a group of people.

In the various states, whether by case law or legislation, there are generally several "privileges" that can get a defamation case dismissed without proceeding to trial. These include the allegedly defamatory statement being one of opinion rather than fact; or being "fair comment and criticism", as it is important to society that everyone be able to comment on matters of public interest. The Supreme Court, however, has rejected the opinion privilege outright and has declined to hold that the "fair comment" privilege is a Constitutional imperative.

[After Stratton Oakmont v Prodigy, 1995 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 229 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 24, 1995), applied the standard publisher/distributor test to find an online bulletin board liable for post by a third party, Congress specifically enacted
47 U.S.C. § 230 (1996) to reverse the Prodigy findings and to provide for private blocking and screening of offensive material. §230(c) states that "that no provider or user of an interactive computer shall be treated as a publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider," thereby providing forums immunity for statements provided by third parties. Thereafter, cases such as Zeran v American Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997), and Blumenthal v Drudge, 992 F. Supp. 44 (D.D.C. 1998), have demonstrated that although courts are expressly uneasy with applying §230, they are bound to find providers like AOL immune from defamatory postings. This immunity applies even if the providers are notified of defamatory material and neglect to remove it, due to the fact that provider liability upon notice would likely cause a flood of complaints to providers, would be a large burden on providers, and would have a chilling effect on freedom of speech on the Internet.]

November of 2006 the California Supreme Court ruled that 47 USC § 230(c)(1) does not permit web sites to be be sued for libel that was written by other parties.[10]